Do you have questions about the TNO Trainee Programme? We have drawn up a selection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Dates, deadlines and procedures

The next editions of the TNO Trainee Program will start on September 1, 2024, and February 1, 2025.

For the TNO trainee program, we have one selection moment per year, where we select participants for two starting dates. We have two vacancies available for application, each with its own starting date. The selection procedure and selection day for both vacancies take place simultaneously, on May 31.

If you are still studying until the beginning of 2025, or if you want to take a break before starting your career, please apply for the vacancy with the start date of February 1, 2025. If you are almost done with your studies or ready for a job in 2024, please apply for the vacancy with the start date of September 1, 2024.

The application procedure for the trainee program closes on Sunday 5 May 2024 at 11.59 p.m.


You can no longer access the originally uploaded versions. In case you accidentally uploaded a wrong version of your documents, you can send the right version to [email protected].

The first announcement will be on May 7 2024 the latest. We will then let you know whether or not you are invited to the next step; our online assessment. The outcome of that assessment together with your application will lead to either an invite for the trainee selection day or a rejection. You will be notified about that on May 24 the latest.

Our partner LTP provides you with an online assessment that consists of questionnaires about your personality, drives, values and capabilities. If the results of your tests, cv, motivation and video pitch match our wishes and criteria for the TNO Trainee Programme, we will invite you to the trainee selection day.

During the selection day (31 May 2024), you will have two job interviews, fulfil a group-assignment and give a short pitch. You will also get to know current and former trainees.

The trainee selection day will take place in The Hague, Anna van Buerenplein 1.

  • Deadline for applying: 5 May 2024

  • Trainee selection day: 31 May 2024

  • Final interview in The Hague for starting date 1 September 2024: 4, 5 and 6 June 2024

  • Final interview in The Hague for starting date 1 February 2025: 10, 11 and 12 June 2024

  • Information on the terms of employment (by phone): 11th or 18th of June 2024

The Trainee Selection Day is a mandatory and important part of the selection process. On this day, we will meet each other and you will get to know TNO and the TNO traineeship.

Yes, you can. Depending on what stage you are in the process, please contact the recruiter (Lara Dimitrovski) or mail [email protected].

We do our utmost to be as transparent as possible about our process and the qualifications we select upon. Due to the huge amount of interest for the TNO Trainee Programme, we unfortunately cannot give feedback on a personal note after round 1 (cv assessment) and 2 (online assessment). After joining us at the Trainee Selection Day or the final interviews, we will of course inform you personally.

All applicants need a certificate of conduct and additionally a screening by the General Intelligence and Security Service.

You must have successfully completed your studies and obtained your degree before starting at TNO. The actual diploma ceremony may take place after this date.


The purpose of the video is to get an impression of you. We're curious about your motivations and interests. It could be anything. Maybe you're passionate about experimenting in the style of Michael Reeves, or perhaps your biggest dream is to develop an amazing roller coaster. We're looking for something extra. Furthermore, there are no hard criteria for the content of your video: you have the freedom to decide for yourself what you want to show in the video.

Please record your video in English.

The length is less important than the size of the video. But a maximum of 5 MB means it will be a short video (30 seconds or less). There are several online tools available to compress your video when needed.

We all understand some of you may be more natural or more at ease in front of a camera. We also understand if English is not your mother tongue. Do not worry about that. Be yourself.

Our applicant tracking systems supports MP4, MOV, WMV, MPG and MPEG formats. Be aware that a video in any other format cannot be uploaded.

If size and format are not the issues with an uploading problem, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

The TNO Trainee Programme

We have a maximum of seven spots available per cohort.

We try to take into account your interests and background as much as possible. This will be addressed during the selection process. For your assignment, we also depend on the departments that are available.

The TNO Trainee Programme is a fulltime programme. Meaning: Monday till Friday, 40 hours a week.

That depends on the unit you will be working for. That means that there’s a possibility that you will work on 3 different locations during your traineeship. However, it will always be one of our Dutch locations. Our head office is based in The Hague (Anna van Buerenplein 1), this is also the location where the trainees meet. See all our locations.

No, there isn’t. Check our socials if you want to see what our colleagues look like. For the selection day, we advise business casual.

No, the TNO Trainee Programme means you get to work in different roles, which you can put on your resume.

It is not possible to prolong the trainee programme after 2 years, We do hope, of course, that you will continue working at TNO in a role that fits with your talents. Curious about those different roles? Read the stories of our TNO colleagues here.

At the end of the trainee programme, you will be prepared to fulfil a role such as Project Leader, Business Developer or Consultant. If you prefer to start working in the role of Scientist, we advise you to check our (starters)vacancies.

If you have the ambition to specialize as a scientist, delve deeply into a particular field, and want to develop professionally in that role, then a starter position as a scientist is more suitable than as a trainee. As a scientist, TNO also offers you a development program where you can discover and develop your talents: Talent Development Programme.

International applicants

When needed, we reimburse hotel costs. Please check with HR first before booking [email protected].

TNO takes care of a number of things for new employees from abroad. Ranging from accommodation to tax and language help.

Please note we only consider applications from Europe based residents. If you live in the Netherlands or another European country but you are a non-EU citizen, TNO can provide sponsorship for your working permit in the Netherlands.

In general, Dutch is not really needed for either living here or working at TNO. But be aware. Some units have predominantly Dutch speaking clients, and therefore speaking Dutch can be a requirement for working there. Once you start the TNO Trainee Programme, we do offer Dutch courses. These will help, but don’t expect to become a fluent Dutch speaker in a few months.

TNO is a Dutch organization. We also work for international clients and in European projects. People from more than 50 countries work within TNO. The majority, more than 80%, of our employees is Dutch.

Study background and qualifications

  • You graduated approximately no more than two years ago (University MSc), calculated from the program's start date.

  • You have completed a university technical bachelor's degree. For example: computer science, artificial intelligence, data analysis, (applied) physics, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering and (applied) mathematics.

  • You have a master's degree in:

    o A field that demonstrates breadth and connection. This could include a master's in Technical Business Administration, Innovation Management, Transition Management, or Industrial Design. Or:

    o A master's in a technical discipline, but you demonstrate a desire to connect with other fields.

  • A technical degree is a hard requirement. However, if your master is more technical and your bachelor is broader, you can also apply.
  • You have a broad interest, as evidenced by your combination of master's and bachelor's degrees, and/or extracurricular activities undertaken alongside your studies.

  • You reside within Europe.

    In your motivation letter and video, we hope to see the following:

  • Make it clear how you want to work on one of our four challenges: a sustainable, safe, healthy or digital society.
  • You possess extensive knowledge and experience to help solve societal and economic issues.

  • You are driven by knowledge and enjoy translating it into practice.

  • You aspire to innovate and look beyond the status quo.

  • You are bold in generating new ideas.

  • You have strong communication skills, enabling you to connect with people around you and work towards new solutions.

  • You strive for excellence, enjoy challenges, and are comfortable taking responsibility.

  • You take charge of your work and your own development.

Within TNO we value professional skills as well as (inter)personal skills. These skills can be developed within or outside your study or work. We look at the experiences you gathered, what you learnt from them and how the result of that learning process is visible in other experiences.

University MSc.

You must have successfully completed your studies and obtained your degree before starting at TNO. The actual diploma ceremony may take place after this date.

See 'What are the selection criteria?'. This does not mean that other studies are excluded, but those with these educational backgrounds and research experiences will have many more opportunities within TNO.

Then it seems that the TNO Trainee Programme may not be the best match for you. You can register for a job alert for your own background or check our other vacancies.

No, matching the right candidates and our available spots is a puzzle where you can rely on the recruiters and research managers to keep your best interest at heart. In the end we all benefit from the best possible match.

More information

Subscribe for our TNO Job Alert, and check the box Job Type > Trainee Programme.

You can contact Lara Dimitrovski, recruiter, via +31 (0)6 50740690